A powerful 4 cylinder - not to be underestimated
With the age of the car, it's not so much "what's gone wrong", but what has needed to be replaced as a safety necessity - in this case, just about everything in the time that I've owned it, excluding the A/C compressor and the windows.
Typically, the timing chain slackened off, the diff-centre needed to be rebuilt and with the performance options that I made for the vehicle, the starter motor needed to be replaced a few times. With the compression ratio being higher than standard, I switched to a Bosch reduction-drive starter, the one used out of the TN and TP Magna.
Without modifications, this car was powerful and very comfortable to drive, and not bad for blowing off other 4 cylinder vehicles of smaller stature (with the occasional straight-6 falling victim to its power).
With modifications (and this is a very modifiable car, with some parts harder to find than others), Twin Weber carburettors, Genie Extractors, sports exhaust, lowered 1.25" all round (and those are just for starters), it handles better than on rails and can take sweeping bends at well over 100 km/h without even thinking of stepping the rear wheels out. It brakes like a dream, the take-off is superb (especially with a modified cam) and it doesn't spin the wheels unless you want it to.
To date, this car has dragged off 10 consecutive VL-Commodores (some stock, most modified - automatics are a little harder to beat and throw in a greater challenge). This car hasn't done any quarter-mile times as yet, but it has gone from 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds in 2nd gear @ 5900 RPM.
All in all, this is a very reliable car, which cost a bit to modify (about $15,000), but once the goals were achieved, the results have more than paid off.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th February, 2002